Luke 8:49-53, Mark 9:17-19, 22-24, Mark 4:37-40
“I will put my trust in him.” (Hebrews 2:3)
Think for a moment about how we unplug from the energizing power of the Holy Spirit. There are three ways that can happen to become unplugged from yielding.
Ignorance of God’s standard. There is a story of the young lady in the doctor’s office. She was seven months pregnant and nonchalantly, to me, a perfect stranger- or so I thought- mentioned she was planning a wedding. To the man who had fathered her baby, I hope. She was blinded by the prevailing culture. But was she really ignorant of God’s standard? She told me she’d heard me preach once. And when I told her the church I belonged to, she said, “Oh, that’s where I attend!” If she attended very often, she wasn’t ignorant of God’s standard, I’m sure. So maybe she wasn’t ignorant of God’s will, but of God’s judgment on sin? Or maybe she had struggled with temptation and was ignorant of God’s provision to overcome temptation? At any rate, she seemed ignorant of all God has for us in the God-intended life.
How about you? After reading so far, you can’t plead ignorance, can you? So more often the power disconnect is rebellion. Have you ever heard the old hymn—”Have thine own way, Lord”? When my oldest sister was a toddler, her mother found her in her tiny rocking chair, rocking her doll and sweetly singing, “I have my own way, Lord.” And believe me, she did! That was long before Frank Sinatra sang his most famous song, “I did it my way.” That’s one sure way to unplug. Paul teaches us, “Do not grieve the Spirit.” Grieve, it will quench the Spirit, we are taught. No more power flow.
But for most true believers, more often than deliberate rebelling to unplug, is…spiritual… Drift. The most common way for the sin-barrier to drift in, to get the “yield” prong unplugged with slow drifting is rationalization. Oh, it’s not so bad, everyone does it, or that’s just the way I am. Or I figure out a way to re-interpret the plain teaching of Scripture. The ways of rationalization are infinite—Satan will see to that.
But more often the drift comes, not through deliberate rebellion, but through neglect of the weapons the Spirit has provided—prayer, Bible study, fellowship and accountability with other believers. When I feel the cloud drifting in and the personal relationship with my traveling Companion grows dim, neglect of what the Spirit provides is usually the culprit.
Whatever means the Great Deceiver uses to blow that cloud of separation between you and your inside Companion — ignorance, rebellion, or drift – the “yield” plug must be kept tight. Shouldn’t we check the connection every day? That’s to be yielded.
And the other prong of the faith-connection…Trust unplugged. How do we get “trust” unplugged? Three video clips from the Bible demonstrate how we unplug the Trust prong of faith. Watch them!
- Luke 8:49-53-They doubted God because they knew better-
- Mark 9:17-19, 22-24 They doubted God’s power, and
- Mark 4:37-40-They doubted God’s care.
And so it is with us—
- “God, I know you want me to go that way, but I’m not so sure. I think I know a better way.” Or…
- “God, you’re powerful but this one may be too hard for you. I’m hopeless, nothing but failure.” Or…
- “God, you’re smart enough, you’re strong enough, but do you really care about me that much?”
Unplug! Shorted out! No Spirit power flow. We are dissing God! His very character is maligned.
Yield and trust. Notice an important difference between yielding and trusting. Yield can be once-for-all. No need to ever deliberately say “no,” to unplug. Of course, if you do say “no,” you need to make that yield choice again. But trust usually isn’t in full bloom in an instant of decision. It seems to need grow-time. The more you companion with a friend, the more you trust him or her, right? And so it is with the Spirit, faith grows as you stay tight with him. And that’s the God-intended life.